Friday, October 31, 2008

My New Friend, Magdalene

I have a wonderful new friend. Please read the post below from September 25, and tomorrow I will post pictures because we got to meet today. Magdalene now lives just outside of Jacksonville! Amazing--God is awesome.

Here are the pictures..

Make sure you click on the picture for a close up.

Here, in Magdalene's day timer, is where my "Trust" card has been all these years. Not a coincidence---for some reason God wanted us to be friends. I believe it!
Magdalene's beautiful art!
Here we are standing on the front porch of my studio. Magdalene is holding the card.

Poppies---AGAIN...Michelle Brown Online class

This Poppy above has a beeswax coating overlay. It really gives it a neat effect. It deepens the colors and makes it look almost like an oil painting. The one below does not have the coating.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Stuff

I just put the beeswax over my girl and the charcoal pencil that I used smeared---yikes!  I almost ruined her face because the charcoal pencil I used to outline colored the beeswax and well, you can imagine. It was fairly scrape-able though. Lori, I am still the queen of scrape! (Little calligraphic inside joke there)  So---learn something new every day. But the area where I had the birds looks really  great because I had not used the pencil there. Next time I won't use the pencil, although it gives a great smudged outline--- but I didn't want it smudged that much. Maybe I can fix it with workable fixative first. I'll have to play with it and see. The beeswax deepens and makes the colors richer. It's fun---and it's aroma therapy.  Art therapy + aroma therapy= HEAVEN!

Scroll down to see the girl---before I smudged her face!

...a little birdie told me...

I might put a layer of beeswax coating over her---haven't decided yet.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Painted Her Hair!

The little easel is by Daler Rowney and you can slant it is at different angles. It is a great little thing. I have one more lesson to go on my Paulette Insall Portrait Online class and I have really enjoyed it. I am also doing an online with Michelle Brown. Her watercolors are great so I am hoping I can loosen up and do more expressive painting like she does. I will post some of my progress.

Don't forget to scroll down and see my Zigg marker Scripture. It really doesn't show that well in the picture so do a close up and you can see all the shading. It was fun. Love those *ZIGGS.


I love Zig markers ---and I love this Scripture. It is so true....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday's Favorite Things

Well, it finally uploaded so here are the favorite things for today. I do wish I could choose the freeze shot--it's always quite unflattering...

Gwen Weaver Workshop

This is Italic Pointed pen that I did in the Gwen Weaver workshop.

This is the bent nib lettering I did on Canson paper with White Luma

Rynda, Lori, Gwen and me
Me drooling over the letterforms.

Gwen and me

Friday, October 24, 2008


I started painting these Roses in Ted Head's watercolor class last weekend and finished it up at my studio this week. I thought that these Roses were hard to paint but if you break it down and go petal by petal then it gets easier. I usually paint a bit more abstract but it's good to paint as close to the subject as possible sometimes. It is 11x 14 size.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Favorite things for today

Well, I got it to work!  It was having trouble uploading at first. It takes a long time to upload. But anyway maybe I will do a "Favorite Things" segment or "What I'm Working on Now'" segment sometimes---or "Whatever Segment".

Here is Lori's blog and Etsy shop. She creates fabulous stuff. We are good buddies.
I will probably post one more thing tomorrow then I'm off to Orlando to hone my calligraphy skills. I need to do more of that.  It is a dying art and we don't want the computer to kill it completely off although it is doing a good job. (I like the computer though) There's room in this world for both.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This girl is painted on paste paper with my original calligraphy. It is backed on paintable card board backing then glued to a Windsor and Newton canvas panel. You can't really see it but it does have some dimension.  She is 1o x 10 size. Her face was painted with Shiva oil sticks. Maybe I will put her on Etsy. I think she is differentfrom other "faces" on Etsy since it does have my original calligraphy. Other "faces" on Etsy do not have the lettering. Maybe that will be my niche. Hope no one will think I copied them because I didn't.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


This is a trial run. I had to call Apple Care to find out how to do this. So here I am! 

Sunday, October 19, 2008


We just finished the book of Ester in church today and as usual, I was doodling in my Bible. I listen much better that way. This is Queen Esther just before she went into the King Ahasuerus' presence to ask him to have mercy on her people, the Jews. This was very risky to come into his presence uninvited. She could have easily been killed. This is what my mind's eye sees that she might have looked like just before she entered the king's palace. She must have been very beautiful---and brave because she said, "...and if I perish, I perish." And as the story goes---she lived-- and her people were saved.


Oh my goodness, just how precious is this? It's my studio with Bucky out front! I commissioned Jenn at noodleandlou studio on Etsy to make this for me. Please go to her shop and see the darling things she paints and she creates these precious "Lulettes". If you can, leave her a comment on her blog that you saw this Lulette she made for me. She is a sweet person and I really enjoyed working with her. She lives in Naperville, IL, but the funny thing is---she grew up just two blocks from this studio. She probably walked past it as a little girl! Small world for sure! This is a little treasure and it will have a very special spot at The Red Door Studio!

Friday, October 17, 2008

BACK TO BASICS--Drawing class today at my studio

It's good for me to always get back to basics and just draw. It has been the thing that has given me to confidence to draw other things---like my portraits. Stephanie is such a good teacher and we have a good time at my studio all sitting around quietly drawing our still life and listening to our quiet music. It is relaxing--although putting that first mark on a clean white sheet of paper still brings some trepidation. But as I have read in different articles, most artists have a hard time staring down the blank white sheet of paper. It's amazing how most of the time the muse kicks in and it starts to flow.  This drawing is called "Tea Time."

Thursday, October 16, 2008


How cool is this?!  They are Keds that I created in Zazzle from my art.
I love Keds and wear them all the time so these will be fun to wear. Only one problem, they were quite pricey.  But art work can be pricy at times, right? Anyway, I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I moved out of my comfort "Poppy Zone" tonight and painted some watercolor sunflowers. I used some black sumi waterproof ink to lightly outline the shapes. I painted it on 300lb arches and it wasn't even a scrap. I am getting very brave. I went through all my papers today at my studio and I convinced myself that I have plenty of paper--no need to use scraps. So the moto for today is...just get you paper out and go for it. It's just paper. (How many times have we heard that??)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


HI Y'all--

it is nice to get back to my watercolors---and i promise, i just painted this. i know it looks like the others but i will try and do something about that. maybe i will try another color for the poppy. i think i will try an orange one with more browns in the background and it will look like fall. i might do that tomorrow. i painted this in my home studio. it's actually a closet--- it's a big closet but i can't do much in it but watercolor and calligraphy. i am glad i have my red door studio. i grew up in GA and when my mother passed away i bought the house i grew up in from the estate. seven years later it was just too hard to keep up being 6 hours away so about a year ago i sold it to my nephew. it is a beautiful georigan brick house and he is fixing it all up and a new generation will live in it. very bittersweet for sure. all that being said--(too much information--i know)--i bought this 1922 bungalow for my studio. it's just around the corner from me and it is a dream come true. i love going there every day. bucky loves it too---he is on the porch in the picture. so , there a bit of history behind me and the red door art studio. my good friend, rynda is teaching a beginning callligraphy class there now. we really have fun. we have a great little art community here.


As you can see the first picture is the  "in process" and the second is the finished piece. She is painted on paste paper. In the first image you can see the paste paper beneath her hair with was very nice---but she needed hair so I had to cover that up. I did the lettering in gouache.  The image is 12 x 12. The quote is mine.

Monday, October 13, 2008


 I like better this one much better than the last post. Her face is Shiva oils which really makes a nice smooth face. That works better for me than acrylics although I am anxious to see how Paulette Insall does hers on my online class with her today. Hers are wonderful and she is such a sweet person. If you have any desire to learn to paint faces I highly recommend her online faces class. 

I don't know what I will do with these faces. I will just keep painting them and see where it goes. I have had the hankering to paint some more Poppies. I am having Poppy withdrawal.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I just got finished painting this. I have been working on it of and on all day. I am still here at my studio at 10:20 pm but my husband is here watching the Gators--Go Gators!!  Our son is in laws school at UF and my husband went to law school there also. SO, that being said, that's why I am still here working. I thought I would go ahead and post it since I won't get to post tomorrow.

Their faces were difficult to paint. I think it was because there were two of them and I tried to get them to look at each other---well---close enough.  I also had to sweep over the whole thing with a light wash so their faces wouldn't stand out so much. They looked like a cartoon Disney character.  They still do kinda---I don't want that. HMMMM...maybe I will do an encaustic beeswax overlay next time for that really weathered look. I act like I know how to do that.



Here are two friends---with great stylish hair--being blown in the autumn wind. I have painted a background and I might paint these two friends on the background today. I will post it if I do. I really don't know where these paintings will go. I am not sure if I can put them up for sale because they are similar to Paulette Insall's. I love hers but I don't want to infringe upon her look. Mine would be different but conceptually the same. I am hoping I can come up with a new concept for these faces that is just my own. There are SO many of these little portrait faces all over Etsy. Actually, they are pretty good sellers. I don't know yet. I will just keep painting them for now and see what happens. Paulette Insalls are great. I am thinking that I will letter directly on the canvas or transfer more of my calligraphy in the background. Then it would be different somewhat. I enjoy painting them so I guess it's about the journey and not the journey's end.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Ok, just to show you that I do practice my lettering. It has been a hard practice day--nibs won't work, gouache blobing, letterforms not up to par.  What's the answer?---more practice!  That's the only way. Even after studying and practicing the "art" of calligraphy for 28 years, it still isn't easy sometimes and is still quite frustrating at times. There are several different styles that I use for my "go to" letters and even the "go to's" weren't working so well. Then I picked up my Parallel Pen and ahhhhhhh....I love that pen. I don't use it that much because I feel like I am cheating. Calligraphers have to suffer!!!!!

 So--I'm off to practice more.

Also, scroll down and see my homework portraits.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I have completed lesson one of Paulette Insall's online faces class. I needed to do some homework because the class members post their work on Flickr. Here are my two faces so far. I love drawing faces. It's really amazing how no two faces turn out alike although I am using the same formula. It's fun.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


This piece is painted on a piece of paste paper that I messed up. You never know how semingly gone wrong paste paper can relive. The face is Shiva oils (which I love and I love the smell) and I had a bit a trouble drawing the face. If you mess up the features you can not erase. This is a bad thing---but I really like the smoothness of the oil sticks. I need to figure out a way. I guess I could look at Kelly Rae's book again but I think I won't. I will figure it out myself this time. There is certainly a solution. I love drawing these faces and I need to keep drawing until I feel like I have a style and a look of my own. Then I will post them of Etsy--maybe.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Listen to the WIND

This is painted on 8x8 canvas board. I did not use Kelly Rae's book because I am trying to move away from that look. Her book is, "Taking Flight." She has some very good techniques in her book but I need to go on and find my own way now. I didn't use any papers at all for the background. I used just acrylic paint and painted patterns in different colors and kept layering and building up colors and textures. It was really very colorful and nice. I should have taken a picture of it before I painted over it with the angel. In the background you will see a little of my stamp from my letterforms that I had made. It is the Scripture in Hebrews about angels. I love that Scripture and will probably do more angels with that theme. It says. "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers but thereby some have entertained angels unawares." I also like the Wind to be blowing. I capitalize Wind because in all of these portraits, the Wind has Biblical significance for me in each piece. There is Scripture all in the background of these pieces.
I also found a way with the overlay brush to make the gold in the original piece glow. Check it out.


This is the final painting for the online class I have been doing with Paulette Insall. I am now doing her "Painting Faces" class. I enjoy these online lessons with her. I love to learn about how to do various backgrounds and I will hopefully be able to incorporate all of this into some new pieces.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I started this painting on Thursday of last week and it;s actually painted on cardboard. But with gesso, you can just about paint on anything and it will be ok. This is a collaged background with stamps and acrylic paint. Many of the stamped images in the background are a new stamp that I have just had made of my calligraphy. You can see it faintly in her wings and all around. The Scripture is from Hebrews but it is small at the top right and hard to read. It says, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby we have entertained angels unawares." I just love this Scripture.

Again, all these paintings were inspired by the book, "Taking Flight" by Kelly Rae Roberts but I am not referring to the book anymore and hopefully moving toward my own look with these paintings. My faces are very different from hers but the overall look is similar. I highly recommend the book if you want to learn to do some really great collages and portraits faces.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I just finished this and it is still wet with varnish. My original calligraphy is in the background on the right and metallic flecks of gold are blowing. The photo doesn't pick that up very well but in person it really pops and it's very cool! There are other flecks blowing around too but you can't see them on the photo.
I started this collage last night and worked on it all morning. So I guess one of these takes about 5 or 6 hours to do. But it is fun and I definitely breath easier when her face emerges. I never know what she will look like. This angel looks a bit sad but I am sure some angels are looking at us and they probably are a bit sad sometimes. I tried to "Happy" her up but she just didn't want to.

I will be out of town until Sunday so I won't get to post anything until Monday--or if I am really productive after my trip, Sunday. I have tons of stuff---I can always pull from the stash of artwork. Actually I do like to do that from time to time and give some of these pieces a new life.

All of these portraits paintings that I do are inspired by KellyRae Robert's book, "Taking Flight."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ORGANIC DIMENSIONS BACKGROUNDS--Online class with Paulette Insall

This is week # 3 of my online class with Paulette Insall. We have added layers and layers of acrylic and various stamps etc. It has been lots of fun and I am looking forward to the last class next week. Then next week I start her other online class "Painting Faces." It will be great to see how she does it---hers are beautiful and I am looking forward to that!

Next week she might have us put a focal point object on our pieces but these are just backgrounds we are creating.


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